I Must Follow Mars

I am tired and torn. When I close my eyes, I see a man making faces.

Popping his eyes out. Contorting his tongue. One eye brow up. He is old. Black hair. He is trying to funny. But his face leaves me with such a strangeness that I can’t sleep.

On Friday, things fell apart. Me, my boat. From the solar panel controller to the wings of the butterfly hatch, to my engine and forestay and back again.

The one problem that I discovered at 5 pm Friday was that my ignition switch was shot. No amount of WD40 could save it from the salt mountains inside of it. But luckily on this island of no parts that you need, I found another one.

Hot tip. Someone taught me to spray WD40 onto all the boats plastic parts to preserve them from the sun. You probably already knew this. But me, I know next to nothing. My foot aches and there is a man making faces in my head. That’s what I know. Should I spray WD40 into my ears?

On Saturday, I went to the hospital. My thorn wounds got so bad that someone stopped me at the ship chandladry and said, “You need a doctor now.” So I went. I have a staph infection.

This is my eighth hospital visit in a foreign country. It’s the only way to experience a place. Forget the grottos, have you seen the gurneys?! Who wants to travel with me?

After the hospital, foot bandage and pills

inside of me. I went to stare at a Tikki statue. It is big and powerful, surrounded by green. I hiked slow into the jungle of archeological ruins behind it. Tree limbs grew in spires above me.

The sunset was peach and the moon was almost full and I was with a new friend from the Czech Republic. She just bought a sailboat but doesn’t know how to sail just yet. She says the boat makes her cry every day. I understand the heartache.

My friend Luc says, “You must burn your boat to be free. With a boat, you either spend money to have someone repair it and you spend and spend and spend, more money, again and again and again, all of your money. Or you are a slave, you are a slave of your boat, repairing it yourself and you work every day, every night and it’s never finished and you spend all of your time trying to fix a problem, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.”

I do sometimes feel that I am a prisoner to the one thing that sets me free. It is at the same time my poison and my remedy. Life is full of dichotomy.

Sunday morning was new. I saw the sunrise. I drank a fresh coconut and watched water spurt from a blowhole. The collision of sea water upon a sea cave is like seeing hot fire flame from a dragon. And there was a soft rainbow above it all in the sky. The violet of it carried me along the coast.

I don’t know what day it is anymore. All the repairs have been resolved. I will leave sometime today but I am slow inside.

Mato can no longer join for the sail over but will fly to the Tuamotus on Sunday. Brianna is here now. We will sail together. She has sailed, but not much, and that part makes me nervous, but I think it will be fine because she is a marine biologist and former Olympic skier, so she she knows the ocean and is adventurous. She taught me to surf in Venice, forever ago.

She now heads up a department for the coral mapping project at National Geographic. Maybe we will do something for it along the way. We shall see.

The wind is just south of East and the journey will be upwind. First I must sleep more and follow Mars and make it into the lagoon.

My friend Kerstin said “imagine the ocean draining,” about the tide leaving the lagoons. I think about that now for a long while. My head is a bathtub and everything is swirling and sinking as the water spirals out of it.

A woman used to live on Tahiti-Iti, in a house marked by stones that lead to the sea in all directions. Fisherman would come to her before entering the sea. She gave the weather report and would tell them what time to go. She gave blessings. She gave the God of the wind to guide them. She died and now nobody knows how to read the wind and waves like she did. I wish I could go to see her now.

7 Replies to “I Must Follow Mars”

  1. You describe being at one with nature, water and otherwise so I have great confidence in the next leg of your lifetrip.

  2. Your friend’s Luc description of a relationship with a boat is the best I’ve read….and true with no hyperbole .And of course I love your writing…. just magic!
    Ken McRae

    Sent from my iPhone
    Ken McRae
    501 680 0381
    Little Rock,AR

  3. I need WD40 to remove poop stains from my car. I hope the paint isn’t damaged. I don’t have much but my car is almost paid off and I really hope my paint job is not messed up. I’ll ask my roommate to use her WD40. She last busted it out when my door was getting squeaky lol. You are blooming my beautiful sister and what a funny coincidence that we are intersecting with a rust removal remedy. Hope I made you chuckle a bit. Love your writing! I can easily go adrift into your world full of elemental richness; beauty all around. Wishing you well and I’ll make sure I include you in my cedar traveling prayers.

  4. olivia
    now i know for sure that Ahe’ will take care of you. you will be embraced by the vortex and swept into the world you seek. be careful all the way and remember Kerstin’s words… and mine. you have guides if they are recognized and honored and you are about to meet one of the elders. don’t go to the village, go straight to The Farm. there you will be safe.
    at least you will have escaped the SnakePit. Now this is up to you.

  5. Your blog posts are evolving into a kind of community performance art. They force the onlooker to watch — sometimes reluctantly . . . and then think . . . . The collage of responses-plus-blog seems to make up a holistic expression with a single new voice. Performance art at its best!

    Might want to pay attention to which oil you spray on what. WD-40 is notoriously caustic to some kinds of hoses and some types of plastics. Boatyards will warn you away from spraying it in the bilge. There are other sprays that are better suited for anything that has to do with electrical: Corrosion Block and Corrosion X are best for electrics. To my knowledge, WD is conductive and not recommended around electricals. WD is a great all-purpose short-term lube and rust inhibitor for ferrous metals (especially). Roller furling, blocks, etc., need McLube. Plastics have their own sprays: Armor All and Aerospace Protectant are just two recommended. For paint finishes: a good carnuba wax (or similar . . . except on Algrip).

    Your boat is your soul mate. She becomes cumbersome because of ignorance, not because she is inherently troublesome. She can help to set you free . . . but there is always a price.

  6. Breathe, let go, absorb all the good all about you. You’ve chosen a life that most want, but don’t have the courage to pursue. Light the furnace within with healthy mantras, meditate often, surrender to what is… And, as one Yogi says “your life will become like a beautiful melody”. Now, I’ll try and take my own unsolicited advice.

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